Louise Kerr looks at the restoration of one of the Machars’ best known landmarks thanks to a National Heritage grant.

The restored pinnacles
The restored pinnacles

One of the best known landmarks in the Machars, Glasserton Church, near Whithorn, has re-opened after major restoration work was completed, thanks to a National Heritage grant.

The church was closed during the summer and early autumn as work to make the building watertight was underway.

The restored church

The restored church

For many years this historic Category A listed building had suffered severe water ingress problems which had taken its toll on the internal fabric of the building. Water was pouring in from the tower and the adjoining roof and only a major repairs project could address this issue.

It is not being over dramatic to say that the church could not have survived without the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund. This government sponsored fund was set up to make the UK’s listed places of worship weather-tight, safe and open for use. It is administered by the National Heritage Memorial Fund on behalf of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The congregation and supporters of Glasserton Church are indebted to the LPOW for the generous funding that allowed the project to proceed. The extensive repair work on the church tower and the re-roofing of the adjoining section, together with other ancillary works, will hopefully allow the church to dry out.

During the course of repairs a problem with the four pinnacles that adorn the top of the church tower was discovered. A number of the sandstone pieces were cracked and the pinnacles were deemed to be potentially unsafe. Thanks again to the generosity of the LPOW, funds were made available to dismantle and re build them, replacing defective sandstone as appropriate. The work was carried out by Luce Bay Plant Hire with architectural guidance from Savills, Dumfries.

Photo showing the condition of the pinnacles prior to restoration.

Photo showing the condition of the pinnacles prior to restoration.

his eighteenth century church has been given a new lease of life and continues to provide a peaceful and serene setting for all those who visit.

Church services, as they were before the closure, are held on the first and last Sunday of each month.